Thomas, Lowell


Born: April 6, 1892

Ohio connection: Birth

Lowell Thomas, son of Harry George and Harriet (Wagner) Thomas, was born in 1892 in Woodington, Ohio. He received a B.S. from the University of Northern Indiana in 1911, an M.A. from the University of Denver in 1912, and an M.A. from Princeton University in 1916. He married Frances Ryan in 1917, and they had one child, Lowell Jackson, Jr. After the death of his wife in 1975, Thomas married Mariana Munn in 1977. Thomas began his career as a reporter with newspapers in Cripple Creek and Denver, Colorado, 1911-12. From 1912 until 1914, he was a reporter for several newspapers in Illinois, including the Chicago Journal. He was also an instructor in oratory at Kent College of Law in Chicago during that time. In 1915, he began lecturing on travel, which he did until his death in 1981. In 1930, he began a nightly network radio news broadcast, which was on CBS, 1930-32; NBC, 1932-47; and again on CBS, 1947-76. He also hosted a television series, High Adventures, from 1957 until 1959. He was the producer of a television series for BBC, The World of Lowell Thomas. Thomas was also a prolific author, with many of his books centering around his worldwide travels. Some of his titles are With Lawrence in Arabia; Beyond Khyber Pass; European Skyways: The Story of a Tour of Europe by Airplane; Kabluk of the Eskimos; The Untold Story of Exploration; Seeing Canada with Lowell Thomas; Seeing India with Lowell Thomas; Seeing Japan with Lowell Thomas; How to Keep Mentally Fit; Stand Fast for Freedom; History as You Heard It; and So Long Until Tomorrow: From Quaker Hill to Kathmandu. After a long and distinguished career as an explorer, producer, educator, lecturer, editor, author and journalist, Lowell Thomas died August 29, 1981, in Pawling, New York.

DuPont radio award, 1945, for best news broadcasting; Chauncey M. Depew Medal, Sons of the American Revolution, 1964; Distinguished Service award, National Association of Broadcasters, 1968; Personality of the Year award, International Radio and Television Society, 1968; Horatio Alger award, 1970; George Washington Award, Freedoms Foundation, 1978; Chevalier of French Legion of Honor. Litt.D. from Grove City College, 1933, St. Bonaventure University, 1938, Franklin and Marshall College, 1942, Rider College, 1948, and Ohio Wesleyan University, 1949; LL.D from Albright College, 1934, Lafayette College, 1937, Washington and Jefferson College, 1942, and Olivet College, 1950; L.H.D. from Clark University, 1941, Boston University, 1943, Union College, 1944, and University of Tampa, 1949; H.H.D. from Temple University, 1942.